There's really only one thing to do in wintertime at Valle Nevado (and July is mid-winter in the southern hemisphere): hit the slopes.
The lifts run from 9 in the morning until 6 in the evening, so you don't have to get out of bed too terribly early in order to manage a full day of skiing. If you stay at the resort (as opposed to visiting as a day tripper from Santiago), your lift passes will be included in your hotel package.
The resort has a ski-in design, so you only need to tote your skis from the end of the trail a short distance to the ski storage rooms.
If want to learn to ski, need to brush up your skills or are in the mood to board but don't know how, there is a ski school ready to help you gain mastery. The instructors speak a variety of languages.
Take a lunch break at one of the "Lunch Express" tables on the deck looking out on the ski runs, or just stop for a rest with a cold beer in your hand (I liked a local brand called Royal).
The Lunch Express program comes included in your package if you're a hotel guest. Two restaurants--Italian and French--and two fast food outlets--one of which is on the piste--participate in the Lunch Express program. If you get a late start in the morning, don't fret. Lunch is served until 4 PM.
Whether you ski or not, you can still take a short ride of about 50 kilometers from the city center of Santiago up into the Andes to see the mountains. There are small tour buses that run up the Mapacho River Valley to ski centers such as Laparva, Farellones, and El Colorado. It is worth the trip whether or not you actually go skiing. You can eat at the ski lodge and see or ski the slopes where many world class skiers come during the Northern Summer. The Andes are of course the second highest mountain range in the world and they are spectacular throughout the entire South American continent. Chile is a geographer's dream, with so many types of topography and land and extremes all in one country.
ROBBERS!!! Do not go with this company!! They charged us for 2 snowboards that THEY lost!! All we got was a nasty phone call the next morning threatening to charge us and did not even give us time to prove we gave them back!! We have a form that was signed by the staff that said 2 boards were returned and we we're also given a form with SOMEONE ELSE'S credit card number on it!! Don't trust your credit card with this company!!
Other than being robbers, the customer service is pretty awful. We we're told we would be on the mountain (Valle Nevado) by 9:30am but by the time you (and the 1,000 other people) get your gear and get on the bus it's actually closer to 11am. We met 2 American guys going to Portillo and had all their gear already and when they arrived at the shop we're told they had to wait an hour and couldn't leave until the shuttle bus was full!!! The journey home took almost 4 hours!!!! So 5 hours of riding turned into 14 hours of headache!!!
How to get there:
Toma la autopista urbana Costanera Norte, después
Av. Kennedy y luego Av. Las Condes hasta el camino a Farellones. Sigue hasta la curva 40 y toma el desvío a
Valle Nevado, desde donde te tomará 15 minutos llegar a
Try Chilean ski centres... Worldwide known because of they're incredible quality and really close to Santiago city.